Ken Jasper

Knowing Murry Valley

Murry Valley is part of Melbourne’s rural areas located in the North East and the Northern Victoria region. The town covers about five thousand and twenty square kilometres. It constitutes an electoral district for the VLC (Victorian Legislative Assembly), created in 1945 to be abolished in 2014, and comprises five significant towns: Numukrah, Wangaratta, Cobram Rutherglen Yarrawonga.

The Murry Valley refers to the lowland in the middle part of the River from where water that exit from steep uplands goes to enter a plain close to Wodonga. The plains become flat as the water flows to the west but allows for easy irrigation water distribution. The Murry is formed from a combination of many streams, especially from the Victorian side.

The Murry Valley is characterised by various cultural deposits: the famous River- Murry River. The Murry River is the main waterway of the country’s most giant drainage vessel. The drainage basin’s perimeter is similar to the distance between Charleville in Queensland and the Campaspe river source in the south. It could be referred to as the biggest highlights of the Murry Valley.

Due to the nature of the field, Murry is suitable for the following activities.

Agriculture

By geographical implications, agriculture is inevitable. The main crops grown in the swan hill are grapes, citrus, and vegetables and are populated with irrigated fields. For unirrigated areas, the inhabitants engage in animal husbandry, especially rearing cattle and sheep and the cultivation of cereals. In Yarrawonga, agricultural activities extend from dairy and meat production to fruit gathering.

Irrigation

To improve soil fertility and aid agricultural production, the people of Murry Valley have embraced an irrigation culture. It has also been useful for animal grazing. The earliest irrigation works were carried out individually or by local trusts until 1905 when the Government began integrating various irrigation units through the water supply commission.

There were about three water-storing basins by 1928 in which were Goulburn Weir (1890), the Eildon Reservoir (1927), and Waranga Basin located at Nagambie (1910). Among these storage basins, the largest was the Eildon Reservoir of 1927, which slowly supply water to the fields. On the other hand, the Goulburn valley merged with the Murry valley to form a particular agricultural unit.

In 1915, the Australian Government established the River Murry Commission, saddled with carrying out water harvest and navigation. One of the rivers earlier utilised to achieve both purposes is the Torrumbarry Weir of 1929, located near Echuca. In total, there were three irrigation units – Yarrawonga, Swan hill, and Goulburn.

In the west, the irrigation units are at Nyah, red cliffs, Mildura, Robinvale, and Merbein. Mildura was founded earlier in 1886 before Merbein and Nyah in 1909. Red cliffs became functional in 1920, while Robinvale came after the Second World War.

Tourism

The Murry Valley has grown over the years into a tourist centre. After the Second World War, there were deliberations among representatives from fifty-two rural provinces to form a development club to reconstruct and decentralise industrialisation.

Fifteen years later, various motels and attraction centres such as swan hill pioneer settlement and the Echuca Wharf restoration. The River also offers different water activities.

Land Management

The community is involved in various land care activities because of the importance of agriculture in the region. There were times when irrigation and land clearing were severe problems. Nonetheless, the Valley Development League resolves these issues through remedial land works and regulations.